Sunday marks 6 year anniversary of teen killed by drunk driver

Robert Talamantes/KTSM

POSTED: Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 10:41pm

UPDATED: Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 10:44pm

As many prepare to ring in the New Year later this week, one El Paso family reminds locals not to drink and drive when you celebrate. Their daughter was killed by a drunk driver 6 years ago Sunday.

Valerie Talamantes died after a drunk driver crashed into her car on December 29, 2007. She was 19 years old at the time.

Her father, Robert, said even though Valerie is gone, she will always be with him.

"It still hurts today, like it did the day we lost her," he said.

If she were alive today, Valerie would be 25 years old.

Robert said still can't believe his daughter is gone.

"I know she isn't here, but for some reason, i still think she is going to walk through the door," he said.

Valerie was driving home from her boyfriend’s house at around 2:30 a.m. on December 29th 2007.

She stopped at a red light. That's when she was hit by Edison Bayas, a Staff Sergent from Fort Bliss. He was driving drunk.

It was the intersection of Hawkins and Montana that the crash happened. Valerie was just a few short minutes from making it home.

She died at the hospital. Bayas is currently serving 15 years behind bars for the accident.

"Right now i still don't have any anger towards him," her father explained.

When the accident first happened, one of the things Robert said was how much he will miss doing things with his daughter.

"We did everything together," he cried in 2007. And that hasn't changed today. "Then you think, god, we are never going to sit here and watch football games together."

So as New Year’s celebrations begin this week, Robert wants everyone to remember, it is ok to party.
But if you drink, drink responsibly. He says don't drink and drive.

"Don't hurt yourself and don't hurt somebody else. You can't imagine the pain you go through."

There was a candlelight vigil Sunday night to mark the 6 year anniversary. Family and friends met on at the intersection where Valarie lost her life.

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